Apart from choosing Yellow Jacket Nitrogenerator®, the right soil type, optimal fertilising and correct harvesting methods will contribute to a high roughage yield.
Lucerne thrives in well-drained soil with the correct acidity. Sandy soil must have a pH value higher than 5.5, and clay soil at least 6.0. Lucerne must not have been grown for one (in wet areas) to three (in dry areas) years. Good soil structure is advisable.
Fertilising and crop protection
Lucerne is a perennial crop. If the soil contains enough nitrogen at the time of sowing, there is no need to add extra nitrogen. Over time the crop itself will ensure nitrogen ﬁxation from the air. Phosphate, sodium and potassium must be added based on soil analysis.
Leave the crop alone
Because lucerne is susceptible to damage from trafﬁc, it is important to leave the crops be as much as possible. When a lucerne plant dies, it will leave an open spot where weeds can get a chance. Barenbrug lucerne seed is free from noxious weeds and scores well for nematode resistance. Disease and pest control are often easy to do with available resources.
Lucerne is mostly cut for making silage. Depending on the local climate, two up to ﬁve or more cuts are possible. In case of springtime sowing one less cutting must be taken into account. The best time for cutting is when ﬁve to ten per cent of the plants are ﬂowering. The best cutting height is seven to ten centimeter. Lucerne is a broad-leafed crop, which means the choice of cutting machine is important. When handling is too intensive, too much leafy material is lost, at the expense of forage yield and quality.